Chief of Sask. reserve sentenced to 9 months in jail for sexually assaulting girl
Terry McArthur is seen in these undated file photos.
Published Wednesday, August 7, 2013 9:33AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, August 8, 2013 6:24AM CST
The chief of the Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation has been sentenced to nine months in jail for sexually assaulting a teenaged girl.
Terry McArthur had earlier admitted to inappropriately touching the girl, who was 16 at the time, in April 2012.
McArthur, 48, didn’t address the court and said nothing as he was led out of court after he was sentenced Wednesday in Carlyle.
Provincial court Judge Karl Bazin surprised both the defence and the Crown prosecutor, who had jointly proposed a 12-month conditional sentence to be served in the community.
Bazin said that sentence would be unfit and would put the administration of justice in disrepute.
The judge also said McArthur showed no remorse and tried to minimize his crime.
As part of his sentence, McArthur was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
His lawyer, Chris McLeod, said he would speak with McArthur about whether he wants to launch an appeal.
"The sentence was unexpected but that is what the judge ordered," McLeod said.
McArthur had stayed on as chief of the southeastern Saskatchewan reserve, ignoring calls for his resignation.
The girl is still receiving counselling.
Julie Kakakaway, a long-time resident of the First Nation, said the sentence will help the community of about 160 people heal.
"It kind of broke us apart," she said outside court. "A lot of people were in disbelief but now justice is served and that is what everyone was looking forward to."
Nina McArthur, another band member, said she was relieved McArthur has been sentenced to jail time.
She said it will be important for adults in the community to reassure young people about what happened.
"I think trying to explain to the kids in the community that it is still safe now that he will be in jail," she said. "I think that is probably our first step."
With files from The Canadian Press